When it comes to building out registry sets, I find that I'm very much one of those people that needs to "begin with the end in mind." I find that when I don't have a clear vision for a set and an idea of what the finished project will look like I have a hard time making anything I'm happy with and I have a hard time making progress or even really starting.
I've been wanting to build out the 1986 mint set for over a year and I just could never come up with an idea for how to build it out that actually excited me... and now I finally have! I'm going to build it out by talking about some of the things that happened that year and how many of them are relevant to my life or my wife's.
Things like Studio Ghibli releasing their first film in August of that year. The Phantom of the Opera debuting in London - my wife loves that story/ play. The first official discovery of Mad Cow disease. The launching of Mir, Challenger. And the Chernobyl disaster. An odd list - and all 1986 apparently.
My wife has looked at the work in progress on it and called it, "kind of a love note to us." I'm good with that - although, as love notes go, it’s an old one when a love note talks about the Challenger Disaster and Chernobyl, but, ya know… I’m an odd one.
Of course... the pictures I'm less than thrilled with, now that I look at them again. I wouldn't call them "bad"... but I don't know that I love them. I think I'd redo them and do them differently now. Funny thing is I remember being at least happy-ish when I re-imaged the set like ~2.6 years ago but... I guess my standards have changed/ gone up. A phone call to Choya later and he's going to try to meet me sometime this month and give them to me, even if it is just at Thanksgiving. Depending on when I get them, I may try to bust out new pictures and a new banner in rapid fashion to redress the set for Dec 1st. We'll see. Just for fun. Do I expect it to win anything? No. Not really. But personal pride has me wanting to put a shine on it and have it looking nice for the cut-off.
I don’t know to what extent this is just a natural outcome of the journal writing and / or the fact that the set is one of the oldest in the category, but that 1986 set has more views than any of the other sets in the category. Interestingly, of the 4 sets closest to it in view count, none have pictures, and the current #1 set has no pictures. So, maybe I can make that 1986 set something worth continuing to look at and deserving of that “most viewed” status.
Working on this got me looking on eBay. I took an opportunity to get a new 1986-D quarter in MS66, which improves on the MS65 we have (the weakest coin still in the main set) for only $19. I figured at that price I could just call it an impulse buy and it isn’t something I’m likely to regret too much later.
I'm also working on improving the visual presentation for some other sets and my wife is calling these set banner images one of my new obsessions - alongside buying lots of raw Zimbabwean coins like a crazy person. I'm not presently involved in researching Zimbabwean or Venezuelan banknotes and culture so... out comes the camera and the Photoshop!'
These new images are in part an effort on my part to leave the Collector's Society site, at least for the NGC side, and "live" in the new registry. For the PMG side, Collector's Society is still the only option and that seems unlikely to change... And if they make a new PMG feature and the Signature Sets don't cross over I am going to be crying because that 127 note signature set for Zimbabwe was... a lot of work.
Some of those were quick and easy (1932, the Texas Commems). The Zimbabwe banner was a hideous amount of work that took 3 or 4 nights and over a dozen versions. I think it was worth it. I had a vision I needed to nail. All of the banners of the gold coins are made with brand new pictures, some of which are vast improvements on the old ones. I really like the simple Obverse / Reverse on the white background for most of the sets with only 1 design, but I like the collaged approach with the type set.
I feel like one of the biggest challenges with these images is accounting for the Rank ribbon and for the fact that the aspect ratio or the image and how the rank banner looks is different on my PC (1:1 square ratio) vs My phone (2:3 ratio).
Working on the pictures of my Presidential Dollars Proof set is probably a waste of time if viewed completely from a competitive standpoint, but that’s at least a gratifying waste of time with a set that is closed-ended, not growing by 5 or 10 coins a year anymore, and which is 60% complete, so it doesn’t just mock me with all its emptiness. Lol I’m considering just biting the bullet and getting PF70s on the 2012-2014 coins to finish out the set since the PF69s I’m seeing aren’t much cheaper. But I’m worried that if I do start down that road, I might be tempted to bump some of the others up to 70s later.
I’m wondering how far I’ll take this photo / banner upgrade drive and what the next victims will be. The 1986 Proof Set seems like it is ripe for a full re-image and a new banner.
Edited on 11/27 to add: I've uploaded new photos to the 1986 set and posted a comment below with some new / old comparisons.